Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bombay High Court Asks Government to Change its mindset on PH

Change your mindset on physically challenged: Bombay high court tells govt

Published: Tuesday, Aug 3, 2010, 2:29 IST
By Mayura Janwalkar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA  

Krutika Purohit, 17, had nursed the dream of being a physiotherapist since she was nine.

However, with her visual disability, clearing the MHCET for pursuing a degree course in physiotherapy with a good score and obtaining “provisional admission” to the course, has been no cakewalk.

Purohit, perhaps the first visually challenged student to get admission into the four-year degree course in physiotherapy, found an ally in the Bombay high court recently.

The court told the directorate of medical education and research (DMER) that earmarking seats under Persons with Disabilities (equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) Act, 1995, serves no purpose without a change in mindset.

"This mindset has to change. You have to feel from within. Every family has a person with some disability. You have to lend a helping hand," justice SC Dharmadhikari said. "They (persons with disabilities) too are mainstream students. You (state government) are not lowering any standards for them.”
Purohit and the Indian association of visually impaired physiotherapists had moved the high court after Purohit was barred from taking MHCET exams owing to her disability.

Although the court allowed Purohit, a Khar resident, to appear for the MHCET examination on April 23, her way to becoming a physiotherapist was far from clear. Purohit's advocate Kanchan Pamnani, herself visually impaired , said the DMER was wrongly applying rules to the physiotherapy course.

The MCI rules say a person with locomotive disability of lower limb (50%-70%) can apply for MBBS courses. But in this case, the authorities did not apply their mind if a visually impaired person could study physiotherapy.

Assistant government pleader GW Mattos said the government would take progressive steps but Purohit's case should be referred to the council of the Maharashtra university of health sciences.

The court also directed the chief commissioner of disabilities to issue directions to universities within two months.

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